Sunday, October 22, 2017

Indy Eleven vs Puerto Rico FC - 04.31

- Opponent: Puerto Rico FC
- Location: Indianapolis (officially an "Away" match)
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 2-1 L
- Starting XI: Cardona, Franco, Falvey, Miller, Keller, Ring, Smart, Junior, Speas, Vukovic, Zayed
- Substitutions: Goldsmith 46' (Junior); Ubiparipovic 46' (Miller); Thompson 60' (Smart)
- Unused: Busch, Watson-Siriboe, Lomeli, Ables
- Goals: Goldsmith 82' (assist Thompson)
- Bookings: Miller 30' (Yellow); Ubiparipovic 65' (Yellow); Keller 70' (Yellow); Falvey 86' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: Two

Much like the team, I've run out of ideas. The injury bug was a thing this year, but the team is mostly healthy, with the obvious exception of Braun. Yet, there were only periodic moments from this team today where they looked to be on the same page and played cohesively. Puerto Rico FC got on the board early in the 5th minute on a goal by Rivera after a botched clearance by Ring and that helped them ride their way to a victory, something they haven't done since mid-August. If you weren't in attendance, the PRFC players celebrated at the end of the game like they have been living out of their suitcases and had lost 7 of their last 8 games, which is exactly where they find themselves and the run-of-form they've had recently. A goal in the 43rd minute by Welshman, again a result of a poor clearance, and the PRFC had their game winner, enough to withstand a late push by the Eleven and an 82nd minute goal by Goldsmith.

On a day where Don Smart reached 100 official appearances for the Indy Eleven, one has to wonder how many of the current team will be around next year. Listening to Coach Hankinson and the players talk, nobody knows how to turn around this year's results with the current roster. Guys aren't playing to their potential, aren't hustling to the same extent as last year, and look completely disjointed. At one point in today's game, a ball was played over the top to Ubiparipovic to run onto. The team had no answer for how to break down PRFC's defense, but balls over the top to Ubi, not one of the team's faster players, seems like a last ditch effort. When passes and plays didn't progress as expected, players dropped their head or raised their arms. Everybody looks exasperated and confused as to why things aren't working. One of the last things said to me as I was leaving the stadium was that it was a dark place and it had nothing to do with the lighting. Coach, players, staff, and fans walked out with a concrete feeling that the highs of last year were fleeting and have been replaced by the lows that were the norm in the first two years.

Ever wonder what I write during the game to remind myself of what to write later in these posts? You probably don't, but most of what I write down never makes it into a post. However, I'm tired of trying to find new ways to describe these games, just like the guys seem tired of finding new ways to let games slip away from them. So here goes, in roughly chronological order...

The BYB had some orange smoke during pregame in support of Puerto Rico, which I tweeted about and received the normal likes/retweets and the required "looks cool, but the BYB is weak" response. Which I can no longer find, for some reason... Before I move on from this though, the comment was from an Armada fan. A squad that looks like they have a sell-out for tomorrow's game against the Cosmos, but had an official attendance of 780 people in a mid-week game against the same PRFC. Why can't people just appreciate a good gesture without throwing stones in glass houses?

Falvey got his GK involved early (1st min) with a nervy pass back to Cardona.

Missed clearance by Ring 5th minute caused goal. Nothing Cardona could do.

Cardona making Franco work early. Strong throw and pass.

20th minute - Vuko moved to LB, Keller moved to holding mid.


Long run by Franco in 45th minute wasted by Zayed.

Took all the way to 56th minute for Zayed to get called offside. Moral victory?

70th minute - moments of good soccer. Just few and far between.

BYB has some unique chants this game.

  1. Theme from M.A.S.H. played during a PRFC injury time in 28th minute.
  2. "Buy her a beer!" after BYB member was hit in the face/beer by a shot.
  3. "Leave her alone!" after a second shot went in her direction just a few moments after she was hit.
79th minute - long balls for Ubi to chase is not a good strategy.

82nd minute - Goldsmith goal created by Thompson taking on defender and going to goal. 

84th minute - Goldsmith off the woodwork.

So that's it. That's what a blog writer, or at least this blog writer, jots down while trying to enjoy a soccer game. Seems like it would detract from the enjoyment of the game a bit, doesn't it? 

At times...


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